THIS AVALANCHE ADVISORY EXPIRED ON April 4, 2018 @ 6:52 am
Avalanche Advisory published on April 3, 2018 @ 6:52 am
Issued by Jeff Thompson - Idaho Panhandle Avalanche Center

Kootenai
Selkirks/Cabinets

bottom line

Put away your tennis rackets and mountain bikes. Winter is still here! The Selkirk and Cabinet mountains got a refresh of snow over the past 48 hours. Between 6-13'' fell above 4500'.  Most areas are showing winds were out of the S-SW-W.  Snow densities were low so expect to see snow on the move. Any leeward slope should be looked at with heightened concern.  The snow surface under the new snow is frozen and firm, making a good slide surface.

How to read the advisory

Kootenai
Selkirks/Cabinets

How to read the advisory

Put away your tennis rackets and mountain bikes. Winter is still here! The Selkirk and Cabinet mountains got a refresh of snow over the past 48 hours. Between 6-13'' fell above 4500'.  Most areas are showing winds were out of the S-SW-W.  Snow densities were low so expect to see snow on the move. Any leeward slope should be looked at with heightened concern.  The snow surface under the new snow is frozen and firm, making a good slide surface.

2. Moderate

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Above Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

2. Moderate

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Near Treeline
Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.

1. Low

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Below Treeline
Generally safe avalanche conditions. Watch for unstable snow on isolated terrain features.
    Heightened avalanche conditions on specific terrain features. Evaluate snow and terrain carefully; identify features of concern.
Avalanche Problem 1: Storm Slab
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The new snow that has fallen was light density making it easy to transport. Even though the winds weren't really strong, they did carry some snow and load up leeward slopes. Leeward slopes with new windslabs should be the area of most concern. The snow surface that this new snow fell on is frozen and firm.  Also, be heads up about what mother nature dishes us next. If we see a warming of the snowpack or put more heavier snow on the current soft snow, the danger will increase. The snowpack is really swinging between spring-like to winter-like and back. Whatever the current state is could change the avalanche problem quickly. A reassessment should be made daily. Be ready to change your plan as mother nature changes hers!

Avalanche Problem 2: Deep Slab
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It's still worth talking about the deep instabilities in the snowpack. When the snowpack is frozen, like it currently is, the danger is pretty low.  The reality though... this snow has to move downhill at somepoint in one form or another. There are many buried weak layers in our snowpack. As warm temperatures melt the surface snow, it will percolate through the snowpack and find a layer to drain along.  Water moving through the snowpack makes it weak! So the bottom line is-  Be overly suspect of solar aspects (SE-S-SW) if we experience a sudden warm up. 

Weather and CURRENT CONDITIONS
Weather observations from the Region
0600 temperature: 14 deg. F.
Max. temperature in the last 24 hours: 25 deg. F.
Average wind direction during the last 24 hours: SW
Average wind speed during the last 24 hours: 10 mph
Maximum wind gust in the last 24 hours: 38 mph
New snowfall in the last 24 hours: 12 inches
Total snow depth: 144 inches
Two-Day Mountain Weather Forecast Produced in partnership with the Spokane NWS
For 2000 ft. to 4000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Chance rain/snow Cloudy Chance rain/snow
Temperatures: 40 deg. F. 34 deg. F. 40 deg. F.
Wind Direction: S SW S
Wind Speed: 4-6 5-7 3-6
Expected snowfall: >.5'' in. 0 in. >.5'' in.
For 4000 ft. to 6000 ft.
Tuesday Tuesday Night Wednesday
Weather: Chance of snow Cloudy Snow
Temperatures: 30 deg. F. 25 deg. F. 34 deg. F.
Wind Direction: SW S S
Wind Speed: 12-14 8-10 9-11
Expected snowfall: 1'' in. 0'' in. 1-2'' in.
Disclaimer

Avalanche conditions change for better or worse continually. Backcountry travelers should be prepared to assess current conditions for themselves, plan their routes of travel accordingly, and never travel alone. Backcountry travelers can reduce their exposure to avalanche hazards by utilizing timbered trails and ridge routes and by avoiding open and exposed terrain with slope angles of 30 degrees or more. Backcountry travelers should carry the necessary avalanche rescue equipment such as a shovel, avalanche probe or probe ski poles, a rescue beacon and a well-equipped first aid kit.  For a recorded version of the Avalanche Advisory call (208)765-7323.